Governor Dickson Sanctions 500 Workers For Backing APC

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There were indications yesterday that the Seriake Dickson-led Bayelsa State government has allegedly compiled the names of 500 workers for punishment for “supporting” the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last December 5 and January 9 governorship polls in the state.

Besides the punishment, it was learnt that the affected civil servants had not been paid since last October.

The government is said to be unhappy that the civil servants worked against Dickson’s re-election and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the polls that were marred by widespread violence.

The government’s action is said to be generating tension with the affected civil servants planning to seek redress in court.

Dickson was declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after defeating former Governor Timipre Sylva of the APC and Moses Siasia of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM).

It was gathered that the government set up “a special committee” in each of the eight local government areas to monitor the activities of pro-APC civil servants before and during the elections.

Workers in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) within grade levels eight to 17 are said to be affected by the government’s action.

The order to sanction the “indicted” civil servants was said to have emanated from the committee’s report.

It was learnt that the names of the affected persons were forwarded to the Due Process Bureau, which operates the automated payroll system of the state government, for appropriate action.

The directive reportedly emanated from the Office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) through the Office of the Head of Service (HOS) to the Due Process Bureau.

The bureau, headed by Dickson’s Special Adviser on Treasury Matters, Mr. Timi Seipulo, was reportedly asked to implement the order.

It was also gathered that workers in the state’s broadcasting corporation and the sport council were the worst-hit.

A source, who spoke in confidence, noted that there was a deliberate effort by the government to flush out those considered APC members in the civil service.

“Right now, a fresh verification of workers is ongoing for this singular purpose. Most of these workers have not received their salaries since October, last year. While pro-PDP workers are receiving their salaries, those perceived to be APC members are not,” the source said.

One of the affected workers, who did not want to be named for security reasons, said the accountant in his establishment told them their names were missing from the payroll.

The Nation

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